Joseph Van Kerkhove is an Assistant Professor of Art and Director of the Diane Kidd Gallery at Tiffin University. He resides in Toledo, Ohio where he works out of his home printmaking studio. He holds an M.F.A. in Printmaking from Indiana University and a B.F.A. from The Columbus College of Art and Design. Joseph’s work incorporates various printmaking techniques, both traditional and experimental, that express his own personal experiences. He manipulates familiar images into complex compositions that allow the viewers to reflect and relate the images to their memories and personal experiences. Joseph’s artworks have been exhibited in a variety of venues nationally and internationally.
Van Kerkhove is a co-founder and oversees the recruitment of the participating artists for the Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations Project. The EVAC Project is an art project that brings together veterans and artists. EVAC curators interviewed veterans about their experiences, and artists made an edition of prints based on their interpretation of those stories. The prints are exhibited with excerpts from the transcribed interviews. EVAC works to bridge the often precarious gap between military and civilian life. The EVAC Project has traveled to sixteen venues since its inception in 2017, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Dulles International Airport and Rutherford B. Hayes Library and Muse
I am an experimental printmaker and ceramic artist with unconventional methods. By editing, slicing, and reassembling the prints and elements I create new images. In my art-making, I am discovering a visual language that includes objects, surfaces, and color. A common object like the screw is something that is often disregarded. I use its traditional formal quality along with its endless conceptual interpretations to contrast the process with the idea. I juxtapose objects and imagery to make the work more quizzical, evocative, and contemplative.
The use of color in my work allows me to communicate with the viewer emotionally. I do not create work with one particular conceptual interpretation in mind, but rather I feel that the combination of objects and imagery allows the viewer to draw a personal conclusion. I use layers to control what is revealed, obscured, or subdued. This process guides the viewer to form their interpretation of the physical and visual relationships. The material is not as important as the artistic process. Creating with mixed media gives me an advantage over working with only one medium. I can juxtapose color against color, line against line, form against form, and material against the material. My work is in a constant state of flux. I give myself situations to discover something new or provoking. These situations may not always result in success, but I take the knowledge and use it to benefit later works. This gives me the freedom to incorporate marks and processes in order to yield a specific line, form, or surface. All of the information gathered helps the development of my own visual language.